I’m going to be completely honest with you: this video was made out of frustration. I have been stewing over something for months, and this video is my indirect response to it.

You see, I believe that we are entering somewhat unprecedented waters in our Church (and world). The rise of social media has allowed for ideas to spread faster than they have ever spread. People who would have otherwise had no influence on the world are now some of the loudest voices, shaping the world we live in. Even in our Church, there are many unhealthy online who do nothing but spread fear, division, and misinformation. I am speaking of individuals, but I am also speaking to the likes of Church Militant and LifeSite News, organizations that claim to speak in the name of the Church but care nothing of Church authority, actual Church teaching, mercy, forgiveness, or loving one’s enemies. They paint a picture of the Church in crumbles, pick and choose what aspects of the Church is most fitting to them, and rouse people to anger and despair.

I am more than a bit disgusted by the coverage I see of pope Francis by these individuals and organizations. I saw a priest on Twitter last week bragging about celebrating a mass of exorcism for the pope and Vatican. One “Catholic” newspaper claimed that it would no longer refer to the man in the Vatican as “Pope Francis,” only “Jorge Bergoglio.” Many have spread blatant lies in an attempt to defraud the pope.

To these people, I present this video. To these people—people who are so concerned that “Pope Francis is ruining the Church”—I ask a simple question: do you even believe in God? It is a harsh question, but an important one. Anyone who is going to sit there and tell the world that the Pope is ruining the Church, that it is up to low-level journalists to “save the Church” from the validly ordained and theologically trained, does not believe that Jesus is in charge. They treat the Church as a human institution, just like everything else.

I have no time for this nonsense. I have no time for despair, no time for hysterics and prophets of doom. Either you believe that God is in charge, or you don’t.

So which is it?

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Sometimes movies get the cast exactly right. Sometimes… we wonder how a movie would be different with a reimagined cast. This week on Everyday Liminality, Br. Tito and I discuss some near catastrophes in movie casting, while also coming up with some of our own changes.

So I recorded the audiobook version for Let Go: Seven Stumbling Blocks to Christian Discipleship. Woo. It’s a thing, and obviously we want to promote it. It’s good to get the word out about the book, create buzz, and so a quick, free sample is great.

It’s also kind of boring. For those with little interest in the book, there’s nothing to watch. How could we spice it up, I wondered? How could we add a little entertainment and have a little fun?

The answer, as you’ll see in this video, is a fake infomercial for audiobooks. Enjoy…

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Who doesn’t love Law and Order? You are set up with an interesting case, find clues, and within the course of an hour, you find out who did it. Open-and-shut case.

The fact of the matter is that we love closure. We like things that are complete. It gives us a sense of control, a sense that things are right with the world.

But what happens when there is no closure? What happens when we are set up for a mystery but receive a tragedy? That’s what happened to me last week reading a book. I thought I was reading one thing and had the floor taken our from under me.

In this week’s episode of Everyday Liminality, Br. Tito and I discuss the merits of such works and how we deal with the fact that not every mystery has a happy ending.

 

In this week’s Catholicism in Focus I share about the official common prayer of the Church, the Liturgy of the Hours (also known as the Divine Office.) It is an ancient prayer that people of faith have been praying for more than 2500 years, and is something that holds the Christian community in prayer throughout the day.

It is also a prayer that many people find a bit complicated to pray at first, especially if doing it alone.

Have no fear! There are many ways to pray it that can simplify the experience. The easiest is simply to download one of the many apps and pray directly on your phone or tablet. iBreviary is an app created by the Franciscans and all proceeds support the Holy Land. To pray this, all one has to do is select the particular hour and read (everything is laid out for you!)

If you prefer a paper version, there are three variations: a shorter Christian prayer book (just one week cycle of Morning and Evening prayer), the one-volume breviary (the whole four-week psalter of morning and evening prayer, feasts, propers, and abbreviated versions of the other hours), or the full four-volume breviary (complete with everything and everything!) Guides can be purchased alongside these books to ensure that you are on the right page and doing the right prayers (although be sure to buy the guide that matches the version of breviary you are using!)